Broccoli Bacon Brussels Salad Recipe

Creating a Broccoli Bacon Brussels Salad is a fantastic way to combine the earthy flavors of broccoli and Brussels sprouts with the savory taste of bacon. This salad brings a crunchy, nutritious, and deliciously smoky dish to your table, perfect for any occasion. Here’s a detailed recipe to make a Broccoli Bacon Brussels Salad that serves up to 6 people.


Salad Components:

  • 3 cups of fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • Eight slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)


  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • One tablespoon of honey (adjust to taste)
  • One teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preparing the Salad:

  1. Cook the Bacon: In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the skillet, let cool, and then crumble into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables: Wash the broccoli and Brussels sprouts thoroughly. Chop the broccoli into small, bite-sized florets. Remove the stem and any discolored outer leaves for the Brussels sprouts, then slice them thinly.
  3. Blanching (Optional): For a softer texture and to brighten the green color, you can blanch the broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the vegetables, and cook for about 2 minutes. Immediately plunge them into ice water to stop cooking, then drain well.
  4. Combine Salad Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, sliced Brussels sprouts, crumbled bacon, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, red onion, and shredded cheese (if using).

Making the Dressing:

  1. Mix Dressing Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.
  2. Dress the Salad: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl. Toss everything together until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing.

Finishing Touches:

  1. Chill and Serve: Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together nicely.
  2. Garnish: Before serving, you can garnish the salad with extra crumbled bacon, nuts, or cheese if desired.

Serving Suggestions

This Broccoli Bacon Brussels Salad can be a refreshing side dish for BBQs, picnics, or a hearty lunch. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats and sandwiches and is filling enough to stand on its own as a main for a light meal.


  • Freshness Counts: Use the freshest broccoli and Brussels sprouts for the best taste and texture.
  • Adjust the Dressing: Feel free to adjust the dressing ingredients to suit your taste. More honey can be added for sweetness or more vinegar for tanginess.
  • Make Ahead: This salad can be made a day ahead. Keep the dressing separate and toss with the salad just before serving to keep the veggies crisp.

Additional Serving and Preparation Tips:

  1. Letting the Salad Marinate: Allowing the salad to sit in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight (if prepared ahead) can significantly enhance the flavors. The ingredients meld together, and the vegetables slightly soften, absorbing the dressing for a more cohesive taste.
  2. Customization for Dietary Restrictions: For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or substitute with a vegetarian bacon alternative to maintain the smoky flavor profile. For a lighter version, substitute Greek yogurt for part of the mayonnaise in the dressing to reduce the overall fat content while adding a tangy flavor.
  3. Serving Suggestions: Consider serving this salad on a bed of mixed greens for an extra dose of greens or alongside grilled chicken or fish for a protein-packed meal. It can also be a star dish at potlucks or holiday dinners, offering a hearty yet refreshing side option.
  4. Garnishing for Elegance: A final garnish of freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley or chives, just before serving can add a burst of color and freshness, enhancing the visual appeal and adding a subtle layer of flavor.

By expanding on the original recipe with these additions and techniques, the Broccoli Bacon Brussels Salad transforms into an even more versatile dish, pleasing a wide range of palates and easily fitting into numerous meal contexts. Whether as a robust side dish or a stand-alone meal, its depth of flavor and satisfying texture make it a memorable part of any culinary repertoire.